Descriptive Cataloging of Japanese Prints in the Twenty-First Century (RBS-Mellon Workshop)

Date: 29 September 2017
Time: Morning & afternoon sessions
Location: Portland Art Museum
Presented by: The Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in Critical Bibliography at Rare Book School and the Portland Art Museum

This workshop focuses on standards and best practices for descriptive terminology and cataloguing. Bringing together specialists of Japanese art with extensive experience in researching prints and books, we will consider how we describe, catalogue, and present these materials in American museums.

Although collections-information systems have become much more nimble over the past decades, a number of historical factors—including the adoption of different database systems (often by the same museum), the emphasis on Western art in the development of databases, and uneven cataloguing of Japanese print collections—can still impede research and scholarly collaboration. Directed toward spirited discussions among specialists, the workshop will examine such issues as the opportunities and limits of working in translation with institutional databases, strategies for information exchange, and the possibility of shared standards for description and cataloguing.